Next week January 6-9, in Las Vegas Nevada the 2015 CES show will take place. Usually the show doesn’t show much in the way of hi speed but a few gems have come out of the show in the past like the Panasonic W850 & V750 which a year later still hold their own as the best slow motion general purpose camcorders in quality with the 9th and 10th place in our slow-mo camera guide. These have recently come down in price considerably!
2014 has been a very interesting year for slow motion. We saw a new crop of cameras sport frame rates that will set new standards for affordable slowmo for years to come. We had the edgertronic shipping in quantity and the Kickstarter fps1000 surprise that promises unrivaled slow motion in full HD and even 4k at unheard of prices. Phones like the iPhone 6 now sport 240fps and the Mediatek MT6595, MT6795 chips offer the possibility of 480fps at full 1080p.
2015 will probably be the year of the slow motion HD phone as it seems the feature is a way for brands to differentiate phone specs. Like the megapixel spec race, the slow-mo race is now in motion. We want to share some of the slow motion footage we have come across this year and thank you again for your support. This site was started at the beginning of the year with an idea and it has turned into an evolving resource for many camera enthusiasts to look for the latest in slow motion cameras on a budget.
The Blackmagic URSA 4k Professional camera is one awesome powerhouse for standard frame rate productions with it’s three high quality LCD screens and RAW / Prores recording at just $5,995 USD. Prior to the most recent 1.9.9 Firmware it was capped at 60p for 1080p and 4k but after the update the camera gained 80fps for both 4k and 1080p.
Although the frame rate at 80fps is still low compared to most high speed offerings, the fact that it is 4k makes it a special milestone for the resolution. The URSA uses the CMOSIS CMV12000 Global shutter sensor which is the same to be used by the prototype 4k fps1000 camera upgrade option. The sensor is capable of producing from 150-300fps at full sensor resolution and it will be exploited by the fps1000 4k in full resolution. The URSA will record in a 12 Bit 3:1 RAW format for the high frame rate of 80fps costing no quality but saving space in memory and cards. As of this writing the URSA is the highest quality RAW 80fps image under $8k. It is an expensive camera which cost it some points in our camera guide as quality is not a definitive factor in final ranking . Price and workflow also are important. If you need RAW 4k up to 80fps the URSA at $5,995 is your cheapest option until the fps1000 ships. You can also get 4k at higher frame rates like 240fps on the Sony FS700 or FS7 but you will need an expensive external recorder or Sony module which is orders of magnitude more expensive. If you don’t need RAW or 4k Slow motion other cameras like the FS700 plain or the edgertronic are less costly options with higher frame rates.
To backers of the fps1000 “HSC included” the latest developments of the camera came in as a huge upgrade for the once humble little Kickstarter camera. Changes were unveiled at the end of November.
For starters the case has been re-designed by Mike Egan and Marcus Bosch who are involved in the Kickstarter campaign in at least one camera and happened to be industrial designers. The new case features a removable battery flap door, a power and record start stop buttons, a micro 4/3ds mount replacing the original C screw mount design and a much larger ; furthermore the LCD screen has been replaced with a 5” screen with 800 x 480 resolution and capacitive touch screen (previously 2.4” 320 x 240 with resistive touch). The screen in itself is a very impressive upgrade in itself.